Did you get to watch Harlem Heights on BET? If not, that is where I was introduced to the style maven of the show, Briana Bigham who was then in developments of creating her now, handbag line. Her personal style sparked my initial interest and then when I realized she was going to be designing I knew I had to interview her. I asked her questions about her line, B. Marie, about her career and education and of course about her style. Get to know the designer, Briana Bigham and ask any questions you might still have for her and I will get answers.
When will the line launch?
The line will launch the send of the Summer for the Fall 2009 season.
What is the focus of the line-i.e., materials, structure, etc.? B. Marie is a luxury handbag and luggage collection. Fusing fashion forward chic with an eternal youthful edge. Understanding the needs of edgy, sophisticated consumers, I plan to stay a step ahead by providing quality, long lasting, and well constructed product. Each bag has a variety of color and different fabrics. Some that are standard for a handbag, a some that are unconventional.
What sets the line apart from all other handbags? My mission is to continuously provide the most stylish and innovating brand of luxury handbags to complement, enhance,and accent my customers lifestyle. I take an enormous degree of pride in delivering the most creative ideas and concepts to each line of production and design.
Who do you expect your clients to be? The B. Marie woman is everyone from the Fashion Forward Teen to the Swanky Senior. The big city dweller to the small town socialite. She is stylish, creative, and appreciates the subtle luxuries. She is a leader, never a follower.
Where will the handbags be sold? I am shooting for boutiques to sell my collection. There will be a link on my website to where you can find the collection mid summer. But for more info you can inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org
Does each bag have a name (style)? What are they and where did the inspiration come from? Yes, every bag as a name. My favorite is the Tassel Sac Hobo, it was the 1st handbag I designed. I really don't remember where my inspiration came from. It started with the tassel strap, and just kind of came to me after that.
Do you have muses for your line? If so, who? I don't really have a muse, I just have a wild imagination.
Do you plan to expand the brand onto other products? If so, which? My background is apparel, and handbags were my hobby. But now I want to focus on brand on handbags and luggage. Once I build up a client base I possibly will include apparel and accessories.
What did you go to school for? My major in college was Fashion Design, with a specialization in Current Scene.
Where did you go to school? Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City
Do you currently only work on your line or do you have another job? If so, what is that? I have been a Technical Designer for the Victoria's Secret PINK line. It was a huge responsibility, and a great place to work. But I have recently left the company to focus 100% on B. Marie. I have always loved being a part of a phenomenal brand, but my dream is to have my own.
Why did you choose to participate in Harlem Heights and share information about your line? The decision to be involved in Harlem Heights was because my close friends are the cast members. It was a fun idea to film our everyday life, and show the world a different side of young black adults. The launching of my handbag line has been a major priority in my life, therefore it was showcased in the show.
Where do you shop? Why?
I love boutique's. I like to buy unique pieces that I won't find on another girl. For that I go to vintage stores like Reminisce on 23rd St. When I'm looking for funky shoes, or a unique ensemble I go to LF Boutique on 5th Ave.
How would you describe your fashion? My fashion style is unexpected. I dress by mood, so you have no idea how I will step out of the house.
Is your style the same on and off camera? Definitely. I love to push the envelope on what is fashion forward.
What is your favorite go to fashion magazine? blog? I heart European fashion magazines. Particularly German and London, the style there is amazing.
Who is you style inspiration? Diana Ross for her role in Mahogany. The location and dramatic gowns had me glued to the screen as a little girl. My Mom and Dad for their fierce 80's fashion. My parents had matching Burberry trench coats and scarves when I was 6. My Father wore YSL dress shirts, and Lacoste Polo's. And my Mother was never afraid to step out of the box and start trends.(see attached pic)
Are you from New York? If not, where are your from and what brought you to NY? I was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but because of my parents careers, I also lived in Kansas City, Dallas, and Seattle. I came to Harlem for the community feel in the big city. And all of my close friends live within a few blocks of me. I came to New York after I was accepted to FIT. I wanted to be in the NY Fashion industry, and I worked really hard to accomplish that goal.
What are your must-have trends for this season? Gladiators. I'm in my fourth season wearing them, I think they are timeless. If you don't want to spend anywhere from $800+ on designer styles. Jeffery Campbell makes the best styles for the best price